Dr. A is from Jamaica. His cell phone rings reggae from time to time, and after I was on the gas for a minute he started to dance around and asked if I was "getting into a pretty groovy place yet." His assistant had been telling me horror stories about previous extractions (at my prompting). I suspect she hits the gas from time to time herself.
And people wonder why I like to be awake during these procedures.
I enjoy speculating about the mind/body problem when I can feel someone destroying my jaw but it doesn't hurt. The sensations are peculiar, robbed of any emotional effect. Tooth one was gone in less than 30 seconds. Tooth two--lower right, and never grown in--took more than ten minutes of hammering, drilling, sawing, chiseling, and Dr. A's lame jokes about guinea pigs before it gave up. That's the one that hurts now, as I sit here with a mouthful of bloody cotton gauze. Tooth three was a cakewalk. "At your age the bone density is really a problem. You might feel this tomorrow," Dr. A said. "I think I'm going to hit oil before we're done." I'm on some really loopy painpill but I still occasionally get an urgent missive from the lower right of my jaw. I wish I could eat.
I'd never had the gas before. That shit's the bomb. I could see today's snowstorm swirling behind Dr. A's head, Peter Tosh blasting through the ceiling speaker. I drifted.
Now I've got a roaring fire on the hearth, some DVDs and books, 20 pills and 2.5 days off.